Friday, August 18, 2017

A Little of Everything

Where has the summer gone?

We had a short trip to Lake Geneva, Wisconsin with our youngest son and his family. It was a fun time enjoying the water park, going on a boat trip, riding horses, playing games, and eating.

Three quilt tops are together and I've started quilting one of them.


I was able to experience Stitches Midwest with a friend. It was a great day - meeting new people, being inspired, and finding some great yarn, patterns, and treasures.

I've done some baking for the freezer. The pear bread and muffins are a favorite as are the zucchini bread and muffins. Of course, there are always chocolate chip cookies in this house. I tried cucumber bread; a recipe very similar to zucchini bread but we really did not like it! 
 

The weather hasn't felt like August - it's been quite pleasant! Gardens are producing and "our people" are doing a great job providing us with lots of produce. It is so nice to have organic gardeners that grow much of our food. 
The dehydrator runs most of the time these days and I'm also doing some freezing.

I'm doing some cooking for the upcoming Teacher Luncheon. Our church provides lunch for the local teachers on their first day back. This year I am making the BBQ. It took all morning but BBQ for 70 is finished!

We have more family and friend days planned. And we have a short trip coming up next month - we'll head north to see if the leaves are beginning to turn.

I hope you get to see some of the eclipse on Monday. We'll be using a pinhole camera since we haven't been able to get any glasses.

We are keeping busy and Loving Retirement!

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Devastation and Beauty

On July 21 we had heavy rains and severe flooding in our area. Last night Ray and I headed to nearby Apple River Canyon State Park. We decided it was time to see the damage since the flood waters had receded.

The road was barricaded so we parked the car and walked over the damaged bridge and found part of the road missing.

Pieces of the road and bridge were washed across the park.

Looking back at the bridge we'd walked across, you can see the approach is badly damaged.

We were visiting with a couple from a neighboring town. He builds roads and had just checked out the bridge. There is no longer anything holding up the approach. 

Notice the uprooted tree. It was washed down the river from somewhere - we did not find where it came from.

And a peek under the bridge.

As we were walking back to our car, some friends stopped to visit. While we were talking, Ray noticed a raccoon up on the bluff. Then there were 2 and then 3 - can you seen them? The third one is just coming out of the crevice to the right of the other two. In all, seven, yes seven, raccoons came out of that crevice and wandered up the wall!

We started home and had to stop to photograph the gorgeous sunset.





And I had to turn around and get one photo of the moon with the colored clouds.

It was so nice to enjoy such beauty after seeing the devastation in the park.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Home Again!

We arrived home last Thursday, just one week ago, and I left on Monday for a Quilting Retreat at Prairie Star LodgeNow, I am home again!

The retreat was wonderful - there were 11 of us and we enjoyed lots of laughter, food, 
Have you tried these? Oh my!
and fellowship. We also sewed! Let me share some of the projects made by Barb, Becky, Betsy, Deb, Gail, Pauline, Polly, Ritarose, Sandy, Val, and me.















Here are some small blocks/pieces





and an iron caddy.

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When I arrived home today, the landscapers were here. After the driveway and garage work, we need to 'repair' some gardens and build a retaining wall. We also have a few other laborious yard jobs so we decided to hire the work done. It is hard to admit we are getting older and that neither of our bodies want to do the heavy physical labor.

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My list for tomorrow is long - I have the normal things to do after a vacation like laundry, bills, etc. I stopped and picked up produce at our favorite farm on my way home today so I need to deal with that. We also need to have a garage sale now that we have a garage and are here. And the list goes on...  yes, we are home again!

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

We are in Illinois but we aren't home ...yet!

It's been another beautiful day. We began with cloudy but not dreary weather 

and then later, we were in full sun. 
corn fields in Illinois
We still have excessive heat and evidently it's only going to get worse according to the weatherman on TV.

We left Indiana and ignored the interstate highways for a while. Our first stop was Arcola, IL, home to the largest Amish settlement in Illinois. It was also the home of the creator of Raggedy Ann and Andy.

We went on another 10 miles or so to Arthur. On the way we stopped at Beachy's Bulk Foods. I enjoy visiting Amish and Mennonite stores. 

We had lunch in Arthur at Country Cheese and More. The sandwiches were delicious and the hand pies were fantastic. They only had two left so Ray had peach and I had cherry.

We found a fabric shop - Stitch & Sew Fabrics! Most of the ladies working were Amish or Mennonite and so friendly. I found some flannel for the border of a quilt I'm making and also flannel for the backs of two quilts.

Next stop was Tuscola but we didn't spend much time; the temperature was in the 90s and we didn't like being in the bright sun.

We are staying is a small town just 2 1/2 hours from home tonight. We have a cool loft - cool as in neat AND cool as in great A/C! The space is very open and comfortable.

We love the ceiling.

Ray was unpacking coolers in the kitchen.

Notice the barn doors on the bedroom in the back of the photo.

Tomorrow, we'll probably drive the back roads and should arrive home sometime midday. By the time we get unpacked, buy groceries, get the mail,... we'll be tired! We have lots going on throughout the weekend. On Monday I leave for a few days on a quilting retreat - guess I'd better get ready for that too! 

We still have a number of hours to relax so it's time to put my feet up!

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

A Great Hike

It's been another beautiful but very warm day. We got an early start and headed to Brown County State Park. 

At the North Gate entrance, you have to go through this covered bridge. However, I took the picture as we were leaving instead of arriving.

It was foggy early this morning and the fog was almost burned off when I took this photo. Notice the little cloud of fog in the center of the picture. You might be able to tell that it was a little hazy from the humidity.

Many of the roads in the park are well shaded by trees. We both loved seeing the sunlight peaking through. Ray was walking back from our parking spot to get some pictures.

It felt so good to be wearing our hiking boots - we hiked around Ogle Lake and saw some gorgeous reflections.

It was in the 70s with high humidity as we began the hike and in the 80s with high humidity as we ended. Come with me around the lake but beware of the mud and puddles.

It was very quiet and peaceful.

I loved this light shaft.

There was moisture on the leaves and in the air. We were both drenched when we finished.

Can you see the spider web? There were many webs but it was really hard to get a picture of them.

Sometimes I could see the reflections on both sides of the lake.

This little toad was guarding his doorway. 

We headed 'home' for much needed showers and lunch. Just as we were ready to eat, we had a visitor in our yard. Can you see the deer? Sadly, he saw us in the house and left.

This afternoon we went into Nashville for a little shopping and some delicious ice cream!

We are thinking about going back to Brown County State Park tonight. If it looks like there will be a pretty sunset, we'll try to get pictures.

Tomorrow we'll continue traveling toward home.

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